Most builder-grade homes these days have fireplaces already installed. Unfortunately, most of those fireplaces are cheap and ugly, or if your home is like mine then you may not have a fireplace at all. I desperately wanted one to give our family room that warm and cozy appearance. Enter... Project DIY Faux Fireplace.
Here is what my family room looked like before our DIY faux fireplace.
You know your spouse is a keeper when they willingly tolerate your frequent hauling of random items found at vintage markets. Can anyone else relate to this? This time around I brought home this beautiful, vintage fireplace mantel. This mantel is solid wood and oh, so pretty. You want to know how much I paid for it? $200... Honestly, how could I just walk on by? We had this huge, black entertainment center I wanted to get rid of and so this was my chance to sell it and put this mantel in its place. However, I didn't want it to look like I just stuck a fireplace mantel up against the wall so I knew I'd have to create a faux "fireplace" as well.
Supplies You'll Need:
- 2 x 4s for your base
- nail gun and nails
- ¼" thick cement board to lay tile down
- tile, if desired
- thin set
- wet tile sponge
DIY Faux Fireplace Base
First, we built a base out of 2x4s. I formulated my length based on the length of the mantel I purchased.
After it was built we nailed it to the wall.
And we put plywood on top of it. I wanted it to be sturdy because I knew my kids would probably stand on it at some point.
Then we screwed ¼" thick cement board on top. This is what we will lay the tile on.
Next, I laid out the tile. If you have ever laid hexagon you know how hard it is to get them perfect. So to make sure I had my cuts and spacing right I laid everything out first.
After that I applied my thin set. Don't apply all of your thin set at once. You don't want it to dry out so start on one side and slowly work your way to the next.
Here is what it looks like after all the tile has been placed. After the tile has been laid, allow the thin set to dry for 24 hours before grouting.
Next, we added baseboard to the front to hide the 2x4's and other layers. We did this before grouting so we could fill that gap with grout as well.
I used premixed grout and a float tool to get it down in between the tile. I forgot to take a picture of this, but after I grouted a small area I would use a wet tile sponge and remove all the extra grout. You don't want any grout left on the top of your tile. Once it dries it is VERY VERY hard to get off.
Before placing the mantel on top of the tile I let the grout sit for 24 hours so everything was good and dry.
Adding the Mantel
I wanted this fireplace to look as real as possible. To do that I also wanted tile to go around the inside of the mantle. I attached pieces of 1x8 pine to the back.
Next, I added the hexagon tiles using the same process as the base. I knew my cuts did not need to be perfectly exact because I was adding a border along the edging, but you still want it as straight as possible.
After I installed and grouted the tile my hubby and I found some tree branches during the curbside pick up. We cut them up to look like logs and there you have it - an easy DIY faux fireplace.
Here it is all complete! It adds so much character and warmth to this space.
And my kids even like reading by it too!!
We also sell these windows in our shop. You can check them out here.
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See other easy DIY projects here, like this Farmhouse table!